Last week a Washington-state newspaper ran a series of articles about homeschooling.Â In quality, they ranged from a series of unfortunate statements, to head-nodding good.Â The unfortunate statements came first.
- Daily Record, Ellensburg, Washington, January 2006, Home-schooling numbers steady through county: Home school regs concern districts
Because this article focused on the law, IÂ asked some ladies who homeschool in Washington their opinions about this article.Â I’m afraid they weren’t flattering.Â Representative opinions were, "total mish mash of laws," and, "he got it terribly wrong."Â Â Â Some objections were:
- homeschooled students do not have to spend time with a state-certified instructor unless they choose to do so
- the local superintendents do not enforce homeschool law
- the "Pink Book" he understandably used as a reference, contains misinformation in relation to the law
From an outsider’s view,Â includingÂ quotations from a superintendent who "ardently spoke out" against home education and who, "wouldn’t recommend home-schooling to anybody,"Â but not including statementsÂ from ardent homeschoolersÂ who might not recommend the superintendent’sÂ schools, indicates some bias on the part of the reporter (even if unintended).Â Quotation choice is revealing.
The second article in the series was:
- Daily Record, Ellensburg, Washington,Â January 2006, Home-schooling numbers steady: Parents not required to report test scores
This article focuses on numbers, something not obvious from the headline.Â Â The conclusion of the main body of the article,Â is that the number of homeschooled kids in Washington state hangs around 19,000.Â O.K.
Still, the article finishes by jumping to testing.Â "Families who home-school their children are not required to report test scores to the office, so itâ€™s difficult to know how they compare to public and private school students, Smith said."Â
If the home-based education law in Washington state has been in existence for twenty-five years, and if, during that time,Â there has not been a correlatedÂ rise in unemployment or crimeÂ because ofÂ the thousands ofÂ homeschooled gradsÂ taking jobs from public or privately schooled graduates, then whether the public or private school children measure up to the homeschooled children in test scores, is immaterial.Â We wish them well, though.
- Daily Record, Ellensburg, Washington,Â January 2006, Home-schooling offers options: The attraction endures
â€œParents who are home-schooling have a deep desire to be involved with the daily life and education of their children, just like other parents everywhere,â€ she said. â€œThis is not an insult to public schools. Home-schooling is a viable choice for parents, just as public schools and private schools offer other choices.â€
I like that paragraph.Â
Homeschooling is no more an insult to other forms of education than choosing to play football is an insult to bowling, or choosing to draw is an insult to sculpting, or choosing to have a quick hamburger atÂ McDonald’s is an insultÂ to Burger King.Â It’s a choice.Â This writerÂ did wellÂ in choosing quotations.Â Kudos.
The final article was:
- Daily Record, Ellensburg, Washington, January 2006,Â Home-schooling offers options: At-home learning becoming a popular choice
This article spotlighted two families, the Farrands and the Ratliffs.Â The articleÂ explains why the two families chose to homeschool their children, and why they continued to do so.Â Â The article is aÂ nice finish to the series.